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“I’m Cherokee Jack.”

First uncut/unriffed viewing.

The SOL cut “Night Train to Mundo Fine!”

Stuff cut for MST3K includes: An extended scene where a gas station attendant tells Cook and Landis about Cuba (real secret invasion plan) and a grocery list is read.  Griffith is shown under the tarp sweating profusely.  Few minutes here and there at the training camp.  Makes Griffith more of a jerk.  Extended training bit cut for clarity.  Some dirt thrown on dead bodies in Cuba cut from the SOL.

You know, it’s almost 20 minutes before Coleman speaks.

Why did they cut the covert soldiers sailing through a marina on what looks to be a big fishing boat (but I don’t know boats)?  That’s pure gold!

The invasion took longer to fail, and I think there was traffic in the background.

Worse portrayal of real dictator: Castro in Red Zone Cuba or Hitler in Madmen of Mandoras/They Saved Hitler’s Brain?

The attack on the old man is a bit more ‘violent’ in the full version.  There is a poor overdub of dialogue when he is being attacked.  And then . . . well, Griffith is a depraved man.  Be thankful for some cuts, it was a ‘family’ show after all.

They did just park the car to hop a train!  At least you could make an argument for most decisions, not that one.  Fight sequence between Landis and Griffith trimmed down.

This version doesn’t have the end narration (“A penny and a broken cigarette”), copyright hits again.

This to me is almost a perfect BLC movie.  A grand premises, recurring themes, a certain ingenuity when dealing with the budget, bait and switch star, something actually shocking, and-oddly enough-passion.  There is not a moment in any of these three movies that isn’t entirely Coleman Francis.  Of all the movies I thought I would never see uncut, Monster A-Go Go and Red Zone Cuba were 1 and 2.  The reaction to seeing them was different kinds of joy.  MAGG for being exactly what I thought it would be and RZC for giving me more than I expected.

I’m so glad the SOL put these movies out there.  The total Coleman Francis experience was something else, like looking into the soul of a madman disguised as an artist.  There is something about the dark cynicism at the heart of all these films that appeals to me.  Coleman had his finger on something about the human condition, or maybe just his, which he wanted the world to know.  Maybe someday, I’ll understand what he had to say.

Watchability: 3 of 5.  Not for everyone.  The cut scenes help a bit, but they mainly shows us how low Griffith has sunk in his life.  Again, this gets bonus points for Coleman Francis and the loooong wait to finally see it.

Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5.  Another instance where I could watch either version and be happy.

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